Thursday, February 18, 2010
Today I finished my end grain cutting board that I made from Black Walnut and Maple. It took a little more than I expected (as usual), but turned out nice.
I started with some black walnut and cherry scraps that I had but didn't have enough to make it the size I wanted so I ended up purchasing a 2" chunk of maple.
After deciding on a pattern, I glued up two opposite sets of alternating walnut and maple, then cut them into 1 1/2" rows and assembled them in order.
After final gluing, I hand planned the top and bottom until I was satisfied and then started sanding. I started with 40 grit on the belt sander and then 80, and then switched to 80 on the palm sander and eventually 120 grit.
For the finish, I used a 50/50 cut of varnish and thinner.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Several years ago my wife started making her own hand made quilts and as her inventory grew, she asked me to make her a rack to hang on the wall so she could display them. After looking at several photos on the web of different designs, we agreed on this simple 6 tier rack. I downloaded Google Sketchup, which is a free cad program that you can download from Google.com, and I started designing. I spent more time trying to familiarize myself with the software than designing the unit itself, but now I have the confidence and proficiency to use it on future projects.
Once the basic design was finished, and I had decided to use the pocket holes for the joints, I was off in search of perfect wood. It only took 1 minute in the wood store to determine what kind of wood I was to use because the Cherry was ½ off. This is my first experience working with cherry so I spent some time online reading up on what to look out for, such as splotching when finishing. The wood itself was very easy to work with and machined very well.
After all the woodworking was completed and the rack was dry assembled, I switched modes to sanding and finishing. I tried to complete most all of the sanding before final assembly which saved a lot of headache.
For the finish I decided to go with a polyurethane base with a coat of wax, since I do not have a dust free place to do my finishing. I went with a thin layer of polyurethane for the first coat and then a lot of 320 grit sanding. I used 320 again after the second coat and wet sanded with 600 grit after the third. For the final gloss I rubbed in two coats of paste wax.
For a final touch of class, I spent the next two weeks carving a flower and ribbon to attach on the front of the arch.
I learned a lot on this project, and my wife and I are very happy with the results. About the only thing that I would do different if I had to repeat the project is to add one more step of wet sanding with 1000-1200 grit paper. I can see some areas that don't have the same sheen as others but my wife says she doesn't notice them.